[Coral-List] Underwater Video of Offshore Platforms in theGulf of Mexico (Wendy Cyriacks)

Gene Shinn eshinn at MARINE.USF.EDU
Wed Oct 8 12:22:53 EDT 2008

Oh Wendy, You must have known you were pushing my buttons. It is 
attitudes like this that have forced us to be so dependant on oil 
from unfriendly sources. Yes the fish, sponges, corals, lobster and 
countless other organisms flock to, and depend on, these Rigs. There 
are about 4,000 artificial reefs like these in the Gulf of Mexico. 
Just multiply what you saw in the videos by 4,000! Have you watched 
the Sylvia Earl Kerr McGee TV commercials? Are there any natural 
reefs in that area that support such abundant fish life? Not really, 
Just hundreds of square miles of mud and sand bottom that can no 
longer be dragged for shrimp and by-catch because of the rigs. Yes we 
do need to educate the politicians. Many have painted themselves in a 
corner to garner votes while NGS have used the issue to fill their 
coffers. Now they all need a graceful way out. Maybe these videos 
will help educate them.
      FYI, Thirty eight exploratory wells have already been drilled in 
the moratorium area off Florida's west coast before the moratorium 
went into effect and 14 were drilled in the Florida Keys, Three of 
them were drilled directly on coral reefs, the last one in 1960. Was 
the area destroyed? Not that I know of.  Caribbean-wide coral demise 
did not begin until the late 1970s and especially between 1983-1984, 
years after the  Florida Keys wells were drilled. Not enough oil was 
found to be economic back then but there maybe gas that was not worth 
the effort until now. I suspect fishermen would love to have some 
rigs within 15 miles of shore (you would not even see them from 
shore). They sure love them off Louisiana and Texas. And hey, I seem 
to remember that Tenneco placed 3 old rigs underwater off your area 
to serve as artificial fishing reefs. Ask the divers what they see 
out there. Or you can read our study about them. (Shinn, E.A., 
Wicklund, R., 1989 Observations on deep water artificial fishing 
reefs from Research Submersible, Bull Mar Sci. V, 44 (2) p. 
1041-1050).  Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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